Elections 2019: 'Scared BJP forced to hold PM's rally in Mumbai'
Mallikarjun Kharge says Congress-NCP combine will do extremely well, expects Raj Thackeray to make an impact
The Congress party's Maharashtra in-charge and leader of the opposition in the Parliament, Mallikarjun Kharge, said on Friday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally in Mumbai because the BJP anticipated defeat in this region, which has a strong anti-government sentiment.
Kharge said the Congress has kept up the anti-BJP drive alive with a strong campaign that party president Rahul Gandhi kicked off on March 1. He also said Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray's 'independent' campaign would supplement the efforts of defeating the BJP-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, which is the second after Uttar Pradesh, in state-wide strength in the Lok Sabha.
'Rahul created a winning mahaul'
"Bahut dare huye hain BJP wale (BJP is scared). This fear is the sole reason for holding the PM's rally here. Rahul Gandhi had already created a winning mahaul for the Congress at his rally, and we have kept that sentiment at an all-time high with all our best efforts," he told mid-day, adding that Gandhi will be the next PM if the Congress gets the numbers required.
Kharge was replying to a question as to why Gandhi cancelled his proposed road show in Mumbai and other star campaigners kept away from rallying here. He refuted the popular perception that the party high command ignored Mumbai because of the infighting and the lack of much-required traction from the voters.
He said neither the removal of Sanjay Nirupam from the city Congress chief's post ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, nor the developments that followed in terms of infighting in the local factions would affect the party's bright prospects.
"We are winning big time here. We have experienced and good candidates in the contest. The public unrest will convert into votes for us," he said at a hotel in BKC. Kharge dismissed the BJP's charge that the state Congress was Team B of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which, in fact, controlled everything related to the polls. "We're together in our efforts. The state Congress leaders are equally strong and can bring about the change," he said.
'Raj impact is definite'
Kharge said he did not know what happened behind the scenes before Thackeray took the plunge in campaigning that now is being termed as 'out-sourcing by the UPA.' He said local leaders would decide on making Thackeray a part of UPA in the Assembly polls.
"But we welcome the people who want this government out and support our ideology and secular view. Thackeray will certainly make an impact," he said.
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